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Reports on Progress in Physics

Richard J Hill, Peter Kammel, William J Marciano, Alberto Sirlin
Weak capture in muonic hydrogen (μH) as a probe of the chiral properties and nucleon structure predictions of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) is reviewed. A recent determination of the axial-vector charge radius squared, rA 2 (z exp.) = 0.46(22) fm2 , from a model independent z expansion analysis of neutrino-nucleon scattering data is employed in conjunction with the MuCap measurement of the singlet muonic hydrogen capture rate, ΛMuCap singlet = 715.6(7.4) s-1 , to update the induced pseudoscalar singlet nucleon coupling: gP MuCap = 8...
May 1, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Robert H Swendsen
A little over ten years ago, Campisi, and Dunkel and Hilbert, published papers claiming that the Gibbs (volume) entropy of a classical system was correct and that the Boltzmann (surface) entropy was not. They claimed further that the quantum version of the Gibbs entropy was also correct, and that the phenomenon of negative temperatures was thermodynamically inconsistent. Their work began a vigorous debate of exactly how the entropy, both classical and quantum, should be defined. The debate has called into question the basis of thermodynamics, along with fundamental ideas such as whether heat flows from hot to cold...
May 1, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Hector Gisbert, Antonio Pich
In 1988 the NA31 experiment presented the first evidence of direct CP violation in the K<sup>0</sup>→ππ decay amplitudes. A clear signal with a 7.2σ statistical significance was later established with the full data samples from the NA31, E731, NA48 and KTeV experiments, confirming that CP violation is associated with a ΔS=1 quark transition, as predicted by the Standard Model. However, the theoretical prediction for the measured ratio ε'/ε has been a subject of strong controversy along the years...
May 1, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Gabriele De Chiara, Anna Sanpera
Quantum information theory has considerably helped in the understanding of quantum many-body systems. The role of quantum correlations and in particular, bipartite entanglement, has become crucial to characterise, classify and simulate quantum many body systems. Furthermore, the scaling of entanglement has inspired modifications to numerical techniques for the simulation of many-body systems leading to the, now established, area of tensor networks. However, the notions and methods brought by quantum information do not end with bipartite entanglement...
April 19, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Gregory B McKenna
Rubber networks are important and form the basis for materials with properties ranging from rubber tires to super absorbents and contact lenses. The development of the entropy ideas of rubber deformation thermodynamics provides a powerful framework from which to understand and to use these materials. In addition, swelling of the rubber in the presence of small molecule liquids or solvents leads to materials that are very soft and 'gel' like in nature. The review covers the thermodynamics of polymer networks and gels from the perspective of the thermodynamics and mechanics of the strain energy density function...
April 19, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Tanja E Mehlstäubler, Gesine Grosche, Christian Lisdat, Piet O Schmidt, Heiner Denker
We review experimental progress on optical atomic clocks and frequency transfer, and consider the prospects of using these technologies for geodetic measurements. Today, optical atomic frequency standards have reached relative frequency inaccuracies below 10-17 , opening new fields of fundamental and applied research. The dependence of atomic frequencies on the gravitational potential makes atomic clocks ideal candidates for the search for deviations in the predictions of Einstein's general relativity, tests of modern unifying theories and the development of new gravity field sensors...
April 18, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Susanne Stemmer, S James Allen
Understanding the anomalous transport properties of strongly correlated materials is one of the most formidable challenges in condensed matter physics. For example, one encounters metal-insulator transitions, deviations from Landau Fermi liquid behavior, longitudinal and Hall scattering rate separation, a pseudogap phase, and bad metal behavior. These properties have been studied extensively in bulk materials, such as the unconventional superconductors and heavy fermion systems. Oxide heterostructures have recently emerged as new platforms to probe, control, and understand strong correlation phenomena...
April 13, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Michele Dougherty, Linda J Spilker
Our understanding of the icy moons of Saturn are described following the Cassini-Huygens thirteen year orbital tour of the Saturn system.
April 13, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Claudia Ratti
In the last few years, numerical simulations of QCD on the lattice have reached a new level of accuracy. A wide range of thermodynamic quantities is now available in the continuum limit and for physical quark masses. This allows a comparison with measurements from heavy ion collisions for the first time. Furthermore, calculations of dynamical quantities are also becoming available. The combined effort from first principles and experiment allows us to gain an unprecedented understanding of the properties of quark-gluon plasma...
April 4, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Inna Vishik
In the course of seeking the microscopic mechanism of superconductivity in cuprate high temperature superconductors, the pseudogap phase\textemdash the very abnormal 'normal' state on the hole-doped side\textemdash has proven to be as big of a quandary as superconductivity itself. Angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) is a powerful tool for assessing the momentum-dependent phenomenology of the pseudogap, and recent technological developments have permitted a more detailed understanding. This report reviews recent progress in understanding the relationship between superconductivity and the pseudogap, the Fermi arc phenomena, and the relationship between charge order and pseudogap from the perspective of ARPES measurements...
March 29, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Leszek Roszkowski, Enrico Sessolo, Sebastian Trojanowski
We review several current aspects of dark matter theory
 and experiment. We overview the present experimental status, which
 includes current bounds and recent claims and hints of a possible signal in a wide range
 of experiments: direct detection in underground laboratories,
 gamma-ray, cosmic ray, X-ray, neutrino telescopes, and the LHC. We
 briefly review several possible particle candidates for a Weakly
 Interactive Massive Particle (WIMP) and dark matter that have
 recently been considered in the literature...
March 23, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Lisa Barsotti, Jan Harms, Roman Schnabel
A century after Einstein's formulation of General Relativity, the detectors of the
 Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) made the first direct
 detection of gravitational waves. This historic achievement was the culmination of
 a world-wide effort and decades of instrument research. While sufficient for this
 monumental discovery, the current generation of gravitational-wave detectors represent
 the least sensitive devices necessary for the task; improved detectors will be required to
 fully exploit this new window on the Universe...
March 23, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Matthias Vojta
This review article is devoted to the interplay between frustrated magnetism and quantum critical phenomena, covering both theoretical concepts and ideas as well as recent experimental developments in correlated-electron materials. The first part deals with local-moment magnetism in Mott insulators and the second part with frustration in metallic systems. In both cases, frustration can either induce exotic phases accompanied by exotic quantum critical points or lead to conventional ordering with unconventional crossover phenomena...
March 15, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Frank Jülicher, Stephan W Grill, Guillaume Salbreux
We review the general hydrodynamic theory of active soft materials that is motivated in partic- ular by biological matter. We present basic concepts of irreversible thermodynamics of spatially extended multicomponent active systems. Starting from the rate of entropy production, we iden- tify conjugate thermodynamic fluxes and forces and present generic constitutive equations of polar active fluids and active gels. We also discuss angular momentum conservation which plays a role in the the physics of active chiral gels...
March 15, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Vedran Dunjko, Hans J Briegel
Quantum information technologies, on the one side, and intelligent learning systems, on the other, are both emergent technologies that will likely have a transforming impact on our society in the future. The respective underlying fields of basic research -- quantum information (QI) versus machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) -- have their own specific questions and challenges, which have hitherto been investigated largely independently. However, in a growing body of recent work, researchers have been probing the question to what extent these fields can indeed learn and benefit from each other...
March 5, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
F S Gnesotto, F Mura, J Gladrow, C P Broedersz
Living systems operate far from thermodynamic equilibrium. Enzymatic activity can induce broken detailed balance at the molecular scale. This molecular scale breaking of detailed balance is crucial to achieve biological functions such as high-fidelity transcription and translation, sensing, adaptation, biochemical patterning, and force generation. While biological systems such as motor enzymes violate detailed balance at the molecular scale, it remains unclear how non-equilibrium dynamics manifests at the mesoscale in systems that are driven through the collective activity of many motors...
March 5, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Andrew J A James, Robert M Konik, Philippe Lecheminant, Neil J Robinson, Alexei M Tsvelik
We review two important non-perturbative approaches for extracting the physics of low-dimensional strongly correlated quantum systems. Firstly, we start by providing a comprehensive review of non-Abelian bosonization. This includes an introduction to the basic elements of conformal field theory as applied to systems with a current algebra, and we orient the reader by presenting a number of applications of non-Abelian bosonization to models with large symmetries. We then tie this technique into recent advances in the ability of cold atomic systems to realize complex symmetries...
February 26, 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Gil-Ho Lee, Hu-Jong Lee
This review discusses the electronic properties and the prospective research directions of superconductor-graphene heterostructures. The basic electronic properties of graphene are introduced to highlight the unique possibility of combining two seemingly unrelated physics, superconductivity and relativity. We then focus on graphene-based Josephson junctions, one of the most versatile superconducting quantum devices. The various theoretical methods that have been developed to describe graphene Josephson junctions are examined, together with their advantages and limitations, followed by a discussion on the advances in device fabrication and the relevant length scales...
May 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Markus Heyl
Quantum theory provides an extensive framework for the description of the equilibrium properties of quantum matter. Yet experiments in quantum simulators have now opened up a route towards the generation of quantum states beyond this equilibrium paradigm. While these states promise to show properties not constrained by equilibrium principles, such as the equal a priori probability of the microcanonical ensemble, identifying the general properties of nonequilibrium quantum dynamics remains a major challenge, especially in view of the lack of conventional concepts such as free energies...
May 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
Tyler M Earnest, John A Cole, Zaida Luthey-Schulten
The last few decades have revealed the living cell to be a crowded spatially heterogeneous space teeming with biomolecules whose concentrations and activities are governed by intrinsically random forces. It is from this randomness, however, that a vast array of precisely timed and intricately coordinated biological functions emerge that give rise to the complex forms and behaviors we see in the biosphere around us. This seemingly paradoxical nature of life has drawn the interest of an increasing number of physicists, and recent years have seen stochastic modeling grow into a major subdiscipline within biological physics...
May 2018: Reports on Progress in Physics
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